NFL – Week Sixteen Predictions

21 Dec

I barely broke the .500 mark last week in my game predictions, picking 9 winners and 7 losers. That takes the total season tally to 140 correct and 84 wrong. Here are the picks for week 16:

Houston at Indianapolis – as I expected, the Texans, after clinching the first playoff berth in their history, relaxed and were upset by Carolina. This week Houston will get back on track and defeat the Colts, who finally won a game last week.

Cleveland at Baltimore – the Ravens got roasted in San Diego on Sunday night, then caught a break when the Steelers were beaten in San Francisco on Monday night. They’ll take control here and beat the Browns at home to stay atop the AFC North.

Denver at Buffalo – I can’t see Buffalo’s robotic defense having any idea how to handle the unconventional Tim Tebow offense of Denver. Add to that the fact that the Broncos’ physical defense will probably manhandle the Bills’ offense, and you get a Denver victory that will keep their division title hopes alive.

Tampa Bay at Carolina – Tampa’s coach, Raheem Morris, was being heralded as a bright young coach last year, but now is clearly on a head coaching death watch. The Panthers, who beat the Texans last week and are playing well, win at home.

Arizona at Cincinnati –  both of these teams have slim playoff hopes, but I have to lean toward the Bengals’ defense, and the fact that they’re playing at home, to pick them over the Cardinals.

Oakland at Kansas City – one of pro football’s best rivalries, these 2 teams still can win the AFC West. In fact, all 4 teams in the division are still alive. After stunning Green Bay, I have to believe the Chiefs, under interim coach Romeo Crennell, will be riding high and will win again over the up-and-down Raiders.

Miami at New England – the Dolphins, another team playing under an interim coach, will keep this game competitive, but at this time of year the Patriots don’t fool around. New England wins.

New York Giants at New York Jets – in an amazing turn of events, these 2 teams, who share the same stadium, will be playing in a game in which the loser may be out of the playoffs. It’s technically a Jet home game, but I’ll take the Giants to win since they really need it more to try and stay within reach of the Cowboys in the NFC East.

St.Louis at Pittsburgh – the Steelers and their hobbled QB, Ben Roethlisberger, looked pretty bad on Monday night in losing to San Francisco, and they’ll be loaded for bear in this game. So who comes to town to take the brunt of this? Yikes, it’s the lowly Rams. This is clearly a one-sided Pittsburgh win.

Jacksonville at Tennessee – the Titans’ playoff hopes took a hit last week when they were upset by the lowly Colts, so they’ll take no prisoners here against the Jaguars, whose offensive attack is basically Maurice Jones-Drew against the world. Tennessee wins at home.

Minnesota at Washington – kudos to the Redskins for stepping up and throttling the Giants last week despite being out of the playoffs. They should keep up their positive momentum by beating the Vikings at home.

San Diego at Detroit – the Chargers are in the middle of their annual December roll, and are playing their best football of the season. They have the veteran players to go on the road and win a huge game for both teams’ playoff hopes, and will get it done.

Philadelphia at Dallas – this season has been a disaster for the Eagles, but beleaguered coach Andy Reid, who is a real pro, has them playing great football now even though they’re not going to make the playoffs. With Michael Vick back at the helm, Philly will roll into Jerry’s house and beat the Cowboys.

San Francisco at Seattle – the NFC West was a weak division last season, but at this point this season both of these teams are playing well, and this is a pretty good matchup. The 49ers have the division title wrapped up, so I’ll go with the Seahawks at home to play desperate and pull out a win.

Chicago at Green Bay – the Bears are circling the drain, and having to go to the Frozen Tundra and face a Packer team smarting from being upset by the Chiefs is not what they needed. Green Bay wins in a rout.

Atlanta at New Orleans – this should be a great matchup, and I’ll give the advantage to the home team and pick the Saints to win a very close game.

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